The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is officially under way after yesterday’s opening ceremony when Naomi Osaka lit the flame in the National Stadium, signifying the start of the Games. In reality they have been going for a few days now with football and softball competitions getting going early to fit in the fixtures, but the schedule is now jam-packed with events.
Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz won a thrilling men’s cycling road race in front of a few thousand fans at the Fuji International Speedway track on the outskirts of Tokyo. Belgium’s Wout van Aert won a bunch sprint for silver ahead of Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia, who took bronze. Britain’s Geraint Thomas abandoned the race after an early crash.
Elsewhere the Games’ youngest competitor, Hend Zaza, represented Syria in the table tennis and took pride in defeat. The 12-year-old prodigy beat someone four times her age to get here and her journey to success in a country torn by war for much of her life is undoubtedly one of the stories of the Olympics. From a British perspective Polly Swann and Helen Glover are competing in the rowing heats, Seonaid McIntosh is in action on the shooting range and Andy Murray will step on to court in the men’s tennis doubles alongside Joe Salisbury. Follow all the latest news, updates and results below.
Tokyo Olympics: First Gold for Team USA
Chase Kalisz powered to victory in the men’s 400m medley a short while ago, earning the first gold medal for Team USA. He completed the race in 4 minutes and 9.42 seconds and was closely followed by compatriot Jay Litherland, who was 0.86 seconds behind, winning silver for the team. Brendon Smith of Australia claimed the bronze. “It means the world. This is the last thing that I really wanted to accomplish in my swimming career,” said Kalisz.
“It was something that was a dream of mine for as long as I could remember. I can’t believe it.”
Ellen White scores again as Great Britain secure early passage to Olympics quarter-finals
Great Britain are through to the knockout stages of the Olympics women’s football competition with a game to spare after a 1-0 victory over hosts Japan.
It was a professional display in a contest they bossed, though not with outright control. Similar to their 2-0 victory over Chile, they won the most important passages and, again, it was Ellen White’s name on the scoresheet.
A near-post flick on in the 74th minute settled this tie: White’s 13th in her last 14 internationals, for England and Team GB. That her three goals have come from just five shots says as much about her effectiveness in front of goal as it does of how her team have not quite been at their creative best. Nevertheless, the first part of the job is done.
Tokyo Olympics: Adam Peaty glides into 100m breaststroke semis but faces new threat in Arno Kamminga
He wasn’t the first to emerge from the dive start but by the time they’d reached half a length of Tokyo’s Olympic pool, Adam Peaty was in the lead. He reached the turn in 26.81secs with the gap intact and swam away from the rest on the way home to glide into the 100m breaststroke semi-finals, recording the eighth fastest time in history in the process. The other seven are all his too, of course.
Peaty looked up at the giant board at the other end of the pool and gave a confident nod when 57.56secs appeared, as if he was telling the screen it had done a satisfactory job rather than the other way round. He hauled himself out of the pool and walked away with a little swagger, which is only natural when you can bend an entire Olympic event to your will.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 football matches: Full men’s and women’s schedule, kick-off times and TV information
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are underway in the men’s and women’s football tournaments.
There has already been an upset with the USA women suffering a heavy defeat to Sweden in their opener.
While the men’s favourite, Brazil, defending their gold from Rio 2016, swept Germany aside to kick things off in Japan.
Here is the schedule for both tournaments, kick-off times and TV information:
What to watch on Saturday night and Sunday morning as Tokyo Olympics enter day two
Naomi Osaka will enter the Olympic Games on Sunday, playing the second game on the Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park against Saisai Zheng of China.
The first Centre Court game will start at 11am local time – 10pm ET, with the approximate start time for the Osaka game being around 12am ET.
Andy Murray faces off against Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada at around 2am ET – 7am BST.
US skateboard star Nyjah Huston takes part in the Olympic debut of the sport he has dominated for years. The qualifying event starts at 8pm ET.
Simone Biles of the US women’s gymnastics team will enter the games at around 2:10am ET as the US takes part in the qualifying stage. The US is in the third of five subdivisions. Subdivision 1 starts at 9pm ET.
Surfing is also making its debut as an Olympic sport – the event has a start time of 6pm ET, but is subject to change.
Why is Russia banned from the Olympics and what is ROC?
Russia was banned from the Tokyo Olympics in December 2019 after the notorious doping scandal, which rocked the sporting world.
Nonetheless, Russian athletes are still at Tokyo 2020 due to the establishment of the ROC.
Here’s everything you need to know about the ROC and the background behind Russia’s ban:
Why was Russia banned?
Russia were found guilty of running a state-sponsored doping scheme, which included Russian officials tampering with data provided by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.
Other athletes fill empty stands as fans are barred from Tokyo Olympics
While fans have been barred from the Olympics because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some sections in various arenas in Tokyo have been opened for spectators – other athletes.
Seating areas have been reserved by several national Olympic committees, allowing some athletes to attend other events.
On Saturday night local time, members of Team USA, Australia, and Germany could be seen cheering on the swimmers at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Members of the US women’s gymnastics team also showed up to cheer on their male counterparts.
How many countries are participating at the Tokyo Olympics?
There are 206 National Olympic Committees involved at the Games, including the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, which will send an expanded 29-athlete group to these Games after the team debuted at Rio 2016.
The USA is due to have the largest contingent competing having topped the medal table at Rio 2016, with 613 Americans set to compete. Hosts Japan have 552 athletes entered.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a number of nations with just two athletes among the 11,326 scheduled to compete in Tokyo. They are: Andorra, Bermuda, Brunei, the Central African Republic, Dominica, Lesotho, the Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nauru, Somalia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Sudan, Tuvalu.
Hend Zaza: 12-year-old Syrian makes history as youngest athlete at Tokyo Olympics 2021
If one of the great features of the Olympics is the stories of the athletes who have given so much to get there, then there can be few more remarkable tales than that of Hend Zaza.
The Syrian is set to be the youngest competitor at Tokyo 2020 having earned table tennis qualification for the Olympics by winning the West Asia qualifying tournament last year at only 11 years old.
In the final of that tournament, Zaza beat Mariana Sahakian, nearly four times her age, of Lebanon, and has now won Syrian national titles in all four categories in which she is eligible, including the senior title, having started playing at the age of five.
“I have very rarely seen a player at this age play with such joy and train with such intensity as Zaza,” said Eva Jeler, an experienced former national German table tennis coach.
“She never walked to pick up the ball – she ran. While of course her technique needed and still needs improvement, her determination, resilience and will to play and win are (almost) a guarantee for future success.”
3×3 basketball at Tokyo 2020: What are the rules and who are the favourites to medal?
How do you play three-on-three basketball?
Teams consist of three players and one substitute. The first team to 21 points wins, or, should the mark fail to be achieved after ten minutes, victory is awarded to whichever team is ahead. If the score is tied after ten minutes, overtime begins, with the first team to score two points or get to 21 (whichever comes first) winning the game.
The court is condensed, too, about half the size of a traditional basketball court at 11 metres long and 15 metres wide. It is divided into two areas by a semicircle around the single hoop and net.
Each game will begin with a coin toss, with the winner deciding who takes the first possession. There is a twelve-second shot clock for each possession. Players must take the ball back to around the semicircle after claiming a rebound, while possession switches after every made basket.